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Philippines to defy China fishing rule: Defence chief

Published on Jan 16, 2014 6:19 PM

PALAYAN, Philippines (AFP) - Philippine fishermen should ignore a Chinese rule requiring foreign fishing vessels to secure permission to enter much of the South China Sea, Defence Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said Thursday.

The rule was passed in November by China's southern island province of Hainan and took effect this year as tensions have escalated over overlapping claims to the waters between China, the Philippines, Vietnam and other nations.

Mr Gazmin, visiting a military camp in the northern Philippines, said the Hainan law did not apply to Philippine territorial waters, some of which overlap with those of China which claims most of the South China Sea.

"We will not follow their rules in our own territory. Why do we need permission from another country that does not own our fishing grounds? These are ours," he told reporters. "We still have the capability to secure them (Filipino fishermen)," Mr Gazmin said.

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